Friday, August 24, 2012

Difficult Lesson

Today I was quickly reminded that although I have made huge leaps in my journey through grief there are still going to be days that are difficult to bear. This week has been a rough one for me. It could be the exhaustion of everything I have been doing for the past few months or even the down time I have had. Some of you may wonder why down time would cause this reaction but for at least the past four months I have been on a constant go. My life has consisted of one fundraiser after another followed by events and event planning. Since my grandma passed away I have had very little time to relax and think about what has taken place in my life. I seem to function better when I don't have time to contemplate my life. Being busy and living a life of service is when I am at my best. You can hear the excitement in my voice and exhaustion tends to be on the back burner. Somehow, for the most part, I am able to find an indomitable will to fight through whatever is thrown my way. As my life slows down I am quickly reminded of the pain in my heart of those I have lost. I am reminded of the memories that I wish I could return to, as well as the emptiness that fills specific pieces of my day. I tend to do my best to be as strong as I possibly can but with that comes moments where weakness wins. It's at those moments that strength seems impossible to find and I see myself as the person I hate to be. I become extremely vulnerable and afraid to let people in to that part of my life. Unfortunately, today was one of those days that I was unable to hide what I was feeling.

About two months ago I injured my shoulder exercising. Since then I have been doing physical therapy to attempt to regain what I continue to lose. It's been a rough road for me because with shoulder pain has come extreme headaches and the inability to do a lot of things I love to do. My daily life consists of a job that forces me to constantly be using my arms so not using my right arm has been near impossible. The craziness of my life hasn't allowed me the ability to relax and heal. Some days have been much worse than others. There have been days where every single thing I do is incredibly painful but I just can't shut myself down completely. I have been forced to quit playing soccer and have been unable to truly workout how I love to. Not being able to workout has been very difficult because it forces me to deal with the stress of my life in ways that don't work as well. I am the type of person that needs to release what I am feeling because holding on to those emotions only build up to the point where I can no longer handle what I'm bottling up inside. I have been lucky because with the business of my life I have been able to handle my emotions and release them in different ways. Being able to help others allows me to keep moving forward. It defines me as a person and I feel as if I have a purpose that is so much greater than all else.

However, today was a follow up appointment for my shoulder. It was an appointment meant for making a decision on what to do with my shoulder. Tests that have been done have been inconclusive and the doctor is unsure what path to take. I was told today that it's my decision what I want to do. My choices are more tests or having it scoped where he will do an noninvasive surgery to determine what is causing me so much pain. Of course the decision is difficult because in reality nothing could be wrong and nobody wants to have or do a surgery without knowing if something is truly needing repair. The issue is that even with more tests its unsure what will be seen and at the end of the day I will still question what is causing me constant pain. I was left with the decision to make with those I trust including those at work who have been there every step. As he finished talking to me I could immediately feel the emotions rising. For some reason I felt lost and unable to decide what would be best. Suddenly I felt left with a decision I wasn't prepared to make on my own. Decisions like this one had always been made with one person by my side, my dad. Suddenly, my eyes were filled with painful and lonely tears. I haven't felt alone in a long time but today it hit, and it hit hard. I could not stop crying.

All of this took place this morning. Although my week was difficult I woke up in a good mood. I was able to get some sleep last night and I was looking forward to being at work all day. I was in a mood of wanting to learn. I taught my class this morning as I usually do on Fridays and then left to go to my doctors appointment. Returning to work after my appointment I was a much different person. I thought I would be able to control my emotions after releasing some of them but upon entering the clinic and having to answer questions those lonely unsure feelings returned. You would think that someone who has been through nine surgeries wouldn't be afraid of another one but the truth is I am. The reason I am so afraid is because the one person that has always stood by my side through every one of those is no longer by my side. The person who has given me guidance and put my health in the forefront is no longer here to provide me with the advice I need at this moment in time. Everything in me at that moment wanted to pick up my phone and call my dad. I wanted him to tell me that no matter what I decided that I would be just fine because he would be there every step of the away. Feeling alone with no family support was too much for me to take at the time. Hiding what I was feeling was impossible. Some of those people who witnessed what I was going through were people who have never seen me in that state. They witnessed the weakness that I hate sharing with people. The side of me that I am ashamed of. I felt in a panic, which I haven't actually felt in a very long time. To not be in control of what was happening scared me and sitting here right now it's difficult to even talk about it.

The truth is as much as I want grief to not be apart of my life there really is no escaping it. It's not who I am by any means but it is apart of my life. The cloud of grief that hangs over my head will always exist because nothing can bring back my dad and the role he played in my life. Moments in my life where he should be there will feel empty because something will always be missing. The thing that will be missing is his presence at that time. Losing someone really doesn't go away with time. Nope, it sure doesn't. But...what does happen is you learn how to continue walking forward with your life. You learn to deal with each difficult situation. The moment you make it through one you are then forced to make it through another. Each day is another day without your loved one and waking up without them is only part of the battle. Throughout the day you are forced to make the best of each situation that presents itself. You are asked to give back in their memory and to live life with a purpose. It's your job to live a life that has meaning, a life that they would be proud of you for. I do my best each day to make my dad proud. To be honest, each day I wake up with a goal to make my dad smile. I want to make him proud of me. Every single day I want him to look down on me with a tear in his eye because he can see that I am living the life he would want of me. A life that's purpose is to change others lives, and to constantly affect people positively.

I am not perfect, actually I am far from it. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and have done things that I am not proud of. Facts are, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. The ultimate question is how will you grow from those mistakes you have made? How will you take a tragic event that has occurred in your life and make it positive? It's days like today where I look in the mirror and feel very disappointed in how I walked. It's as if today was a waste and the idea of living each day as it were my last means nothing. If today would have been my last, the impression people had of me would not be what I would want them to remember. Yes, in the eyes of most people days like today are "allowed". These are considered days you go through when you lose someone you love or in my case lose two people I love deeply. I hate using that as an excuse. I hate when I hear that it's okay for me to have hard days. I want people to push me to be the best that I can. I don't want to be allowed days like this. Nothing, and I mean nothing can bring back my dad. At what point do I fully accept that and no longer wish I could change it? At what point do I start living my life for me and move on from what has taken place? Of course it's not fair I can admit that, but most things in life aren't. It doesn't mean that you allow the unfairness of life to be your driving force. If you allow that to dictate your life you are going to have a rough path.

Do your best to never view life as being unfair. Every single person is challenged daily, some more than others, but those who are challenged more frequently is due to what they will do with those challenges. God knows what you can handle, believe it or not He really will only give you what you can handle. If you feel like your life has been one difficult trial after another it's probably because the challenges you have faced have been a driving force in your ability to change the world. All of us have more power then we are ever willing to give ourselves credit for. Some of us have been instilled with a heart to help from the time we were born. From the moment you entered this world the gift of being born allowed immediate changes to occur on this world. As a baby you were born with a specific purpose and with that comes the power to alter the earth in some way or another. If you haven't figured out your purpose keep striving to be the best you can be. If in your heart you know exactly what you are meant to do don't ever stop until you reach that point.

Today was a realization that although I wish my journey with grief was finished I must accept that it never will be. I will have many more challenges where I am faced to fight through the loneliness that comes with being without a father and for me a best friend. I must accept that the tears will flow and that those tears will be shown to the world. All I can do is allow people to be there and allow them to witness that side of me. Hiding what is inside is unfair to those people who truly care and want to be there for me. I have so many people in my life that care about me. I am lucky to have the support that I do because without most of them I would have nothing. Losing a father who was always there and then a grandma that I could tell anything to has left gaping holes in my communication line but there are people who want to fill part of those holes. I have everything inside me to make it through these tough days and what's missing in my heart is all around me. I have been blessed with amazing friends, in which some have become family. I am me, and people love me for who I am. I am my fathers daughter and I am more like him then I ever would have admitted as a child. It is now a compliment when someone tells me that I am a lot like my father. I want to be like him. I want to have a heart like he had. More importantly I want to to have the affect that he had on the lives of those people around him. I have a lot to work up to but each day I can become one step closer to that goal.

My father is my reason for living each day as if it were my last. As corny as this may sound, he is the air that keeps me breathing. He truly makes me want to be the best person I can possibly be. I trust that the answer to what I should do about my shoulder will overwhelm my heart and I will know that he is there guiding my way. I also trust that he truly is there and that he is apart of every single thing I do, each and every day. I have so much love for my dad and my grandma. I am thankful they are together and until I am with them my goal will be to make them as proud as I possibly can. Keep smiling and striving.

With love,

No comments:

Post a Comment